A roaming gig

A roaming gig

I’ve been asked to perform at a fairly high-class dinner function where they want my guitarist and I (on fiddle) to roam around the room and play throughout the evening. Has anyone ever done this before? It sounds like it could be interesting… Any roaming stories or tips would be much appreciated!

P.S. Should we include a "roaming charge" in our bid? Just kidding.

Re: A roaming gig

Mileage allowance and porterage?

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Don’t do it. With roaming charges you’ll end up owing them money!

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Re: A roaming gig

I’ve done it a couple of times.
Watch reactions so you don’t disturb diners who are not really not interested in the music or who are embarassed whatever. We used to start by playing at each end of the room and then move to different spots depending on reaction.
You may get some requests for things you really don’t want to play - usually the type of tunes you can’t get away with pretending you don’t know!!

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Why would anybody want to be within a million miles of a "high class dinner function"? Can’t you get any proper bookings? Don’t do it.

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It’s not right.
This music is not meant to be played while *strolling*
This is traditional dance music and the traditional way to play it is to sit down and look sad while playing.
The punters are supposed to be up and about and dancing. It’s bloody backwards.

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Did something similar years ago in London with the accordion and a guitar player (a one of ) We went wandering round the tables, and the guitarist sang a few love songs. One ‘smart arse’ on hearing my accent, asked me if I could do something Irish. I asked him what he would like me to do and he told me to ‘Go out and dig up the road outside the restaurant’ To be honest, I saw the funny side but I kept a straight face and told him that I forgot my shovel, and that I’d play him McNamara’s Band instead. Which I did much to amusement of the other punters. I have to admit that he won the day however by putting a handful of change in between the folds of the bellows. Barsteward !!!!
So be careful on your rounds .

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I enjoyed that one!! Free Reed

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Oh, I don’t know, stayaway. I rather like hgh class dinner functions. Of course I wouldn’t want to play at one. More throwing the occasional banknote in the general direction of the half-starved looking musicians, that’s me. ;-)

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"strayaway" - apologies …

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I did this once at Merton Abbey Mills market, S. London, roaming round the stalls, just me and my flute. Just a one-off. Most of the customers and stallholders were reasonably appreciative, but one or two of the stallholders were grumpy gits, near enough telling me to eff off, thinking it was ruining their trade. Once I told them I was hired to do this they grudgingly acquiesced. I got quite good money, I think £90 for 1.5 hrs + busking tips, so over a ton. And that was about 15 years ago. I haven’t made such good money since!

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I did this at a local restaraunt/pub a few years back. I’d stroll and fiddle, and stroll while playing guitar and singing. It was sort of nice to talk to those people who were interested. We’re in Florida and it was near some senior citizen condos, so most of the clientele were older Irish-Americans who really enjoyed it for the most part. Ladies would hop up and jig, folks would get up and sing, it was fun.

Then the lovely family from Belfast that owned it for five years sold it off for a big profit and retired here in Florida. They sold it to some folks from New Jersey who promptly ran it into the ground. I left right after the original owners sold it off. That was a few years back now.

It was nice but yeah, I could see it getting old very quickly.

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A tip: before you start roaming between the tables shove a couple of folded notes (£5, €5 etc as appropriate) between the fingerboard of your fiddle and the upper part of its belly so that they are visible.

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As long as you’re not playing for lawyers - you might end up with less money than you started with!!

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Mark, you mean you pay the audience to listen to you? :-)

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Thanks for the insights! It shouldn’t be that bad, it sounds like they want me to play mostly waltzes and slow jigs.

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Hi Lazyhound - I charge them nothing to get in, but they have to pay to get out!!

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A few mazurkas and nice marches will probably go down well too, natharious.

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Take up real prostitution, and keep your dignity.

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lazyhound:
Those who don’t play fiddle or other suitable instrument may have to suspend the paper money from their g-strings as the bellydancers do.

Re: A roaming gig

Just an update on this topic…

I played the gig and it seemed to go pretty well. Most people liked the music and said that it really added to the atmosphere of the event. What we ended up doing was stopping at each table and playing a tune or two (depending on how well it was received). The organizers also have positive things to say. Not sure if I’d do it again but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.